Frequently Asked Questions

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Exam passes are a requirement for those who want to receive a certificate of attainment on CQI and IRCA certified Lead Auditor and Auditor Conversion training courses.

The format of the exam has been changing over 2022/23.

This is now an online exam for which you will need to log onto a 3rd party platform. You will be given a comprehensive guide from CQI and IRCA on how to take the exam and access to practice questions, all designed to help you meet expectations. You will need to take the exam within 30 days of the end of the course.

The exam questions combine a variety of approaches, including:

  • Multiple choice (one correct answer)
  • Multiple response (several correct answers)
  • Drag and drop to fill in the blanks in a sentence
  • Drag and drop to match items correctly
  • Drag and drop in a correct sequence
  • Questions about scenarios intended to elicit answers about courses of action

The exam is open book, so you will be able to refer to the relevant standard.

Yes. CQI and IRCA has made practice questions available online. There are 24 practice question for the Lead Auditor exam and 20 for the Auditor Conversion exam. We recommend that you take advantage of the practice questions. This will give you the opportunity to make sure you understand the various types of questions and how to use the SARAS exam platform, as well as testing your knowledge.

We will allocate time during your training course to look at how you can approach the exam for best results.

You will receive full instructions from CQI and IRCA about how to log onto the SARAS practice portal and the SARAS exam portal. To log into the portals you will need a username and password. This will give you access to the relevant learner homepage.

If you do not receive the two emails, please check your junk email folder and ask your IT team whether they have been blocked. If you have not received the emails by the end of the course, let your tutor know and we will investigate. You can also let us know if you think any of your details on the portal are incorrect.

For more help on the online exams, visit the CQI and IRCA website.

CQI and IRCA uses a remote invigilating service called Easy Proctor. The system takes images of your photo ID and your face, and records your presence using the webcam and microphone and your screen during the exam.

Once the exam is over, Easy Proctor checks your photo ID against your facial image to verify your identify. It will also analyse the exam session recording to check for unexpected sounds, movement, objects or people, for example. If it spots what it thinks are anomalies, the system will flag these to CQI and IRCA.

CQI and IRCA will arrange for a female proctor to check the identification and proctoring recording of a female Muslim learner.

The CQI does offer what it calls ‘reasonable adjustment’ in certain circumstances. You will need to tell us as soon as possible and well in advance of your exam if you feel you need extra support or time to take the exam due to a physical or learning disability, or if you require a female CQI and IRCA member of staff to review your proctoring video recording for religious reasons.

If English is not your first language but you are taking the exam in English, you may be eligible for an extra 30 minutes to complete the questions. Contact us to discuss.

CQI and IRCA will provide full details of the technical requirements to give you an effective exam experience, including desktop or laptop computer, camera and microphone and internet connection. You will be able to access tools on the portal to test your technology.

Yes, there are rules about what you are allowed to bring into the exam and how you should conduct yourself during the exam. These are detailed in the instructions you receive from CQI and IRCA, and it is really important that you read and adhere to these, as failure to comply could result in your disqualification.

The exam consists of 40 questions to be answered in 1 hr 45 minutes. The questions are set out in various ‘domains’ and delegates will need to pass each domain. We recommend that you time your progress to ensure you get to the end of the exam in the allotted time.

You will have 1 hour 35 minutes to complete 34 questions. The exam is divided into ‘domains’ and you will need to achieve a pass mark in each of the domains. That means you will need to pace yourself to ensure you have the opportunity to give a response to as many questions as possible.

Yes we do coach delegates during the course in readiness for the exam. Our aim is success for every delegate.

If you are advised that you have failed the exam, it may be possible to appeal against the result, and the CQI and IRCA instructions explain the circumstances in which you may do this.

Otherwise, you may book a re-sit for the exam. Please contact us for further information.

Be aware that CQI and IRCA sees breaches of its rules of conduct as very serious. It will investigate any potential breaches, and may void your exam and even disqualify you from taking the exam again for a fixed period or permanently if it finds you have broken its regulations. The guidance you will be sent before the exam gives full details of requirements.

Bywater expects to receive your results within 10 UK working days and will then notify you.

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